Samurai Japanese Restaurant located in One Woodbrook Place was a real treat for The Bill Check. A cleanly decorated space that welcomes, I immediately fell in love with the refined beauty; it was evident that this restaurant should shine as bright as any with the pride that goes into the service and attention to detail.
The dining room is a grand open space that's telling you sit down and your experience will be the start of a love affair. With full view of the sushi station and tappanyaki tables (popular with the kids), it’s theatrically pleasing. We opted to sit outdoors as we usually do and for a moment it reminded me of the rooftop terrace spots that started to become popular in the early 2000s, popping up in major North American and Asian cities. With high cocktail tables and patio style lounge chairs it makes for an ideal spot for a casual evening out with friends or whomever you chose to share the experience with.
General Manager Rui Pires brings his 20 yrs of experience to the front of the table and it shows through the efficiency of the staff. Japanese Chef Kenji and well trained Sous Chef Kerby producing the finest morsels and ensuring the highest quality ingredients are had, makes for a delectable affair.
This traditional Japanese soup varies depending on location and chef but Samurai's version is authentic tasting. The broth can be made from a few different things but I tasted a shitake based broth that was earthy and satisfying. The miso paste added a subtle tang on the tongue that complimented perfect squares of tofu and sliced button mushrooms. Not a taste that a newcomer to Japanese food may enjoy but an item that you should try again and again as the varying forms of this dish are as many as chicken dishes found in Asia.
For those of you who love a golden brown, exquisitely fried Calamari, this is the dish for you. Crispy to the last bite, these little nuggets of bliss are lightly coated and fried until tender and bursting with flavour. Tossed in a blend of herbs and peppers, your mouth will be thanking you and begging for more.
One of my favourite items on the menu and something I will have again is Samurai's Sashimi Salad. My love affair with sashimi has been going on for about 24 years and I can safely tell you that I never care for greens with it. However that being said and my present job has me eating more I decided to do the right thing. This dish is a beautiful mound of fresh greens covered in some of the best sashimi I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Buttery smooth and divine salmon with Octopus and shrimp which gave a superb texture contrast and taste. The magnum opus and Samurai's Monet is the tuna sashimi. Have you ever had angels dance in your mouth? Well neither have I but I imagine it's the same thing. With fresh tuna delivered daily, in my opinion this can be the best tuna sashimi Trinidad & Tobago has to offer.
the platter presented to us was more like an edible art gallery of Japanese cuisine. Beef Sashimi, seared beef cooked medium rear, a little on the chewy side but tasty none the less. Scallops are smoky and flavourful, tender and delicately seasoned, another favourite item of mine. Nigiri is one of the simplest forms of sushi and many times restaurants get it wrong, this is not one of those times. The rice is cooked and seasoned well, not forgetting the slice of sashimi that finishes it off.
Crispy Tempura shrimp adds balance to the texture of this roll. Flavours are like velvet on the palette and then that velvet slaps you on the tongue. A little spice, a little kick to break the richness of this roll. With spicy mayo and masago, it gives the condiment lovers something else to talk about.
Another roll filled with tempura bits. Before I go on let me say I'm not a lover of rolls with cooked elements but for the sake of comparison I tasted. For me rolls that include tempura elements should have something to break up the deep fried taste and Samurai did just that adding fresh cucumber and ooba leaf. Fresh, bright flavours with a crunchy bite.
Sous Chef Kirby Britto has taken her job seriously; her devotion to the craft is clear with her choice of the night being her very own Tropical Roll. Japan meets the Caribbean with fresh, fruity and oceanic flavours. Tangy and sweet fruit salsa compliments the seafood in a divine creation.
As if these items are not enough for the average foodie, we come to the dessert prepared by Chef Joel Douglas. His choice was Samurai's Napoleon. What? You've had hundreds of Napoleons before? I'm here to tell you not like this. This beauty looks like jewels on a plate. Chef Joel chose to deconstruct the traditional dessert into a decoration. Not overly sweet its creamy flavours are separated by berries cooked down in simple syrup. Food can be cute and this is it.
Samurai Japanese Restaurant is both soothing and trendy. They have great quality food and the customer service goes above the rest. The attention to detail is both noticeable and appreciated and for these reasons The Bill Check recommends that you try them.